The other day, I suggested to my boss (sic) to read Standard more than Nation. He likes Nation, simply because it has wide coverage across the country.
However, I long believed that Nyanza, especially Luo Nyanza, reads the Standard newspaper more than the Nation. This has been confirmed by reading this article, which, in part, states: ”Though the Nation outsells the Standard at the ratio of 4:1 countrywide, in Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Eldoret, the Standard beats it”.
It is not difficult to tell why this is so, especially from where I stand. Where do I stand? I read newspapers, all newspapers, in Kenya. I am an avid reader.
I read to critique style and form. But, more significantly, I read newspapers ‘in context’. It has something to do with my lecturer back in college -Prof. Okumu Bigambo.
Prof. Bigambo taught me to put everything in context; read everything in context, say everything in context.
Context, more than content, is my obsession. Context is the journalist’s ”frame”. Context is the propagandist’s ”spin”. Context is King!
The Standard is the newspaper which put the vicissitudes of the 2007/08 elections in context. And not just any other, but in the context which cognitively consonanced with my (our) pre-conceived beliefs about what happened, and did not happen, in that election.
[And] to think that the 2007 election is a forgotten past is to delude yourself. Fresher each day. Fresher than 2013.
The Standard is the newspaper that took us through one of the hardest times Â of our lives. The Standard pulled us out of that 2007/08 abyss that Daily Nation put us in.
It is the paper which told ‘our version of the story’, a heart-wrenchingly sad story, of a victory stolen, of the Kisumu gun-shots (of fleeing demonstrators mostly shot from the back), of the rapes and the hackings by Mungiki; of the deaths too painful I still get chills mentally recollecting.
It is the paper that, in those difficult times, when Martha Karua was exuberantly yelling ‘go to court’, etcetera, justified some of the horrors in Rift.
It is the Standard, in those days when Daily Nation almost exclusively published those cooked Steadman polls, that reported about the other polls. The polls Nyanza wanted to read and see. The polls which reflected the reality and the psyche prior to that historic election.
It was the Standard that told us about Citi Hoppa buses and the Mungiki, clad in AP uniform, heading south westerly from Nairobi. It was while watching KTN that I saw Miguna, with his rumbustious voice, squaring it out at KICC.
The Standard is to many Luos a sentimental newspaper. It is like those things that never lose value, regardless of the determination and resilience of time to render them worthless. Oxymoron, isn’t it?
The Nation, going as far back as KPU days, has been offensively anti-Luo.